Passport processing times will not return to pre-pandemic norms until December, according to the US Department of State.
Passport processing times will remain higher than before the epidemic, according to a recent United States Department of State declaration. Many Americans hoped to get their passports as soon as limitations were lifted to resume overseas travel.
Because of the continuing COVID-19 epidemic has considerably affected passport processing procedures, leading to a backlog of applications. Many applications pose difficulties despite the State Department’s attempts to boost manpower and improve processes.
According to the State Department, the extended wait times are due to several causes, including the ongoing effects of the pandemic on international travel, personnel shortages, and mandatory COVID-19 safety standards at passport offices. These elements have come together to produce a perfect storm, delaying passport applications to levels never seen before.
The State Department understands that these delays have been inconvenient, and they apologize for the trouble they have caused. More time and money have been set aside to handle applications, and more employees are now being hired and trained.
In addition, the State Department recommends that passport applications be sent at least four weeks before a trip. In addition, they have pushed for people to think about paying more for speedier service.
It’s worth emphasizing that those with urgent travel needs will continue to be given priority when obtaining passports.
The State Department expects processing times to decrease gradually for the rest of the year, despite the rise in demand for passports brought on by the return to international travel. However, they stress that it won’t be possible to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023.
U.S. citizens who have been itching to travel internationally are recommended to start preparing well before their departure dates. The State Department is navigating the challenge of clearing the current backlog. Hence, patience and understanding are necessary during this tough moment.
In the next months, the State Department will keep a close eye on the situation and make any further improvements to passport processing efficiency that are required. They’re still dedicated to helping people out and getting Americans the travel documents they need.
The State Department’s attempts to speed up passport processing will ensure the safety and convenience of overseas travel for all Americans as the globe slowly recovers from the pandemic’s effects.